This week I’m having the kids play a game* where each team has to decide on Option A, B, or C and then create a sentence based around their choice. One of these options is then randomly selected as the “lucky winner,” and any team that selected that option receives a point. It’s a game of pure luck, but they get excited about it and it gets them all talking, so I like it.
One team had a great deal of trouble deciding on the option they wanted; they all wanted a different letter. I told them whichever letter they held up (on their paper) would be their final answer. When I turned back to check on them a minute later, they were holding up the “A” paper – except one boy, who had written a “B” on the palm of his hand and was holding it up towards me. I burst out laughing.
*Side note: It stresses me out each week trying to decide on a game that is fun and effective at the same time. I know it’s better to recycle tried and true games than to constantly have a new game each week, but at the same time I don’t want to repeat the same game week after week. It’s a tricky balancing act.
**Side note to the side note: And when I say “game,” I don’t necessarily mean pulling out Monopoly or Apples to Apples (although that is an option with my smaller after school classes). It can be anything that gets them speaking in a competitive, team vs. team way.
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As I was leaving one of my classes yesterday, I was met at the door by some boys from a different class. “Oh, Maddy Teacher! This way! Be careful!” I don’t know what was so dangerous about walking out of the classroom, but I appreciate the thought.
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I love my after school class. So much. Having the freedom to teach them what I think is practical and fun and best suited to their level/interests is beyond awesome. It’s such a nice change of pace from the textbook-driven normal class setting – in which, with 36 kids, I’m limited as to what I can do and how much I can connect with them. With only six or seven kids (14 are signed up, but usually only about half of them come on a regular basis), we can have so much more fun.
We watch music videos and do activities related to the lyrics. We play “Would you rather” (they LOVE that game, and it really encourages them to share their opinions and reasoning in a non-intimidating way). Today we talked about food from around the world. I showed them this video (taking care to cut it off at the end before “Drunk Food” popped up as a suggestion – thanks a lot, BuzzFeed). We compared Korea’s school lunch with other countries’ lunches. We talked about their favorite foods. They loved it.
It may not be as rigorously academic as some teachers would like, but it works for us because they can speak with me in a conversational way – and you know what? Not one of them falls asleep or stops paying attention. Because it’s fun.
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This week I received my first two student gifts – one in the form of a lollipop shyly offered to me after class, and the other in the form of an enthusiastic hug from one of the girls as she cried, “We are teacher’s pet!” So cute.